Official Government of the Virgin Islands Website

Coastal Zone Management

Commissioner Jean-Pierre L. Oriol of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources and Commissioner Ray Martinez of the Virgin Islands Police Department announce the establishment of a joint territory-wide policy on the use of generators in a residential community.  This policy will serve as a tool to assist the Departments in regulating these units.

Due to the recent past experiences with Hurricanes, storms and tropical depressions, many businesses and residents of the Virgin Islands have installed emergency “backup” generators. This policy aims to ensure the proper use of these generators to prevent the release of additional harmful air contaminants and pollution, and noise nuisance to surrounding properties.

The policy details are as follows:


Residential generators (portable or non-portable) can be used to provide backup power in emergency situations. An emergency constitutes the following:

  • A deviation of voltage or frequency from the electrical provider
  • Any situation arising from sudden and reasonably unforeseeable events beyond the control of the source, including acts of God.
  • Residential generators (portable or non-portable) shall operate for maintenance and testing as recommended by the generator manufacturer.
  • Residential generators (portable and non-portable) are exempt from permitting mandated in the Virgin Islands Air Pollution Control Act Rules and Regulation, Title 12, Chapter 09 section 204-206: however:
    • The unit shall be installed in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
    • The unit shall be maintained according to manufacturer specifications.
    • The unit shall be located in a well-ventilated area away from doors or windows to prevent exhaust gases from entering the owner’s or neighboring dwelling units.
    • The unit shall not contribute to any air or noise pollution nuisance to surrounding areas.

Any violation of local and federal air pollution regulations may result in enforcement actions.

  • No person shall cause or permit the discharge from any source whatsoever such quantities of air contaminants or other material which cause injury, detriment, nuisance, annoyance to persons or to the public or which endanger the comfort, repose, health, or safety of any such person or the public.
  • The provisions of this policy do not relieve owners of the responsibility for obtaining and complying with any other permits, licenses, or approvals required by the Commissioner or any other federal, territorial, or local agency.
  • DPNR shall inspect or test, at a reasonable time, residential generators (portable and non-portable) to ensure compliance with this policy as well as federal and local air pollution regulations.

In accordance with the Virgin Islands Code-Anti-Noise Ordinance, Title 19 (HEALTH), Part VI (Regulatory Provisions Concerning Public Heath) Chapter 62 (Noise Pollution Control), Section 2042a(b)(1), sounds from residential generators (portable and non-portable) shall not exceed 60 dBA.